Hamilton, Waipā and Waitomo District Councils are urging residents to conserve water wherever they can as the region heads into what is predicted to be a long, hot summer.
Hamilton City Council’s Three Waters Unit Director Maire Porter said water use has been increasing in Hamilton Kirikiriroa on recent hot, fine days, and is expected to increase further as temperatures continue to rise and people enjoy spending more time outdoors during the summer period.
“We need to be mindful of our water use as it is not an unlimited resource. This time of year the demand for drinking water can nearly double, so we ask everyone to do their bit to use water wisely and implement water saving habits into their everyday life,” she said.
Waipā District Council’s Water Services Manager Martin Mould said even though Waipā is not likely to have water alerts in place again this summer, being smart with water use should still be a daily habit.
“While we may not have to worry about water alerts, many of our regional neighbours and holiday destinations will have restrictions in place over the summer period that you need to be conscious of.
“We want to ensure our water use continues on its current path and that can only be done if we are conservative and aware of our water use,” Mould said.
Making water savings an everyday habit is as simple as checking for any leaks. A toilet leak is often silent and a continuously running toilet can waste up to 700 litres of water a day.
To check for a toilet leak, remove the toilet cistern lid, put a few drops of blue or green food colouring into the cistern, wait 15 minutes and if the water in the bowl has changed colour, then you have a leak.
Waitomo District Council’s General Manager Infrastructure Services, Shyamal Ram said there are plenty of simple things that people can do to help reduce their water usage.
“For the past few years our district has been heavily impacted by severe weather events and flooding. Despite this, it is predicted to be a hot summer, which means increased demand on water supply.
“Making small changes will collectively have a big impact in the long term so we encourage you to adopt one or two simple water saving tips, educate your friends, family, and neighbours, and let us know if you see people or companies taking water from our hydrants or any water wastage happening in our district.”
About Smart Water and partnering councils
The Smart Water starts with you! sub-regional campaign aims to make long-term change to how we use water and is a partnership between Hamilton City Council, Waipā District Council and Waitomo District Council. It aims to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of water from source to tap and support schools, organisations and the community to value water and use it in an efficient way.
The Smart Water website smartwater.org.nz has everyday water saving tips that can make an immediate difference to decreasing water consumption, including:
- Choose one water-saving tip that you will start doing and make it a permanent habit.
- Keep pool cover on – on average, a 3.5 metre pool loses 53 litres a day to evaporation – that’s the same as leaving your kitchen tap running full blast for more than eight minutes every day! A pool cover also keeps bugs and leaves out and stops the sun turning the water green.
- Take your kids to your local public pool to cool down.
- Keep a jug of water in the fridge so you don’t need to run the tap.
- Mulch your plants – this will stop 97% of water from evaporating. Use bark, grass clippings or pea straw.
- Water is going to be in demand – use it for the things that matter. Let your lawn go brown and use water for your veggies.
- You might take more frequent showers to stay cool but be mindful to keep them short.
- Collect rainwater from your roof and use it on your plants.
- Raise your lawnmower blade up a notch – grass can survive the heat better when it is longer.
- Rinse feet before getting into a pool. Water will stay cleaner and require fewer chemical additives.
- Only put the washing machine or dishwasher on when it is full.
- Repair/fix leaking taps, toilet and shower.
- Avoid brushing your teeth over running tap.